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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Prepping and paranoia, Big Brother and collapse

This little essay is going to discuss a subject that has slowly started to concern me more as the collapse intensifies (I'm not claiming that all-out collapse and Mad Max is imminent, just that things are progressing).

Some of the bloggers and preppers out there are extremely paranoid about what is coming. A great example is the guy who runs and blogs at www.survivalacres.com . Here's a link to a sample essay of his (click on long excerpt below):

Survival is personal warfare, not in the sense of ‘attack and destroy’, but in the sense that all the rules are thrown out. All of them. We saw this with 500 law enforcement officers quitting during the Katrina disaster. It just didn’t matter anymore when their world was totally destroyed. We saw looters, assassinations, rapes, murders and probably much more. And that was in a regional disaster, actually fairly localized compared to what could occur on a global scale now.

Loyalties got thrown out with the dirty flood waters and people reverted to self-preservation mode very quickly. Of course, not everyone did (or will), but many did, bearing in mind that they all expected rescue. What about when there is no more rescue? No more larger society to come tooling along and fix the problems? This is when things will really reveal themselves, the will to live, struggle, survive and go on will be the daily challenge, hour by hour, minute by minute.

It’s when the food runs out (or runs low) that people will start getting really afraid (and really wierd). Food is comfort, safety and security. Food is life itself, few really seem to consider it’s critical importance or fragile nature. Civilizations and tribes throughout history have risen and fallen according to the food supply (duh!). I emphasize this because that is the very issue at risk. Humans can live without power, and humans can even cope with climate change (to an extent), but 6.8 billion humans cannot live without food that was raised with cheap power, cheap petroleum, vast distribution systems and predictable climates. When these go away, and they will, cheap energy, vast crop lands, affordable transportation, distribution systems and stocked shelves disappear, desperation will set in. And then violence will set in, with a vengeance.

I thought a fairly long excerpt was warranted, and I suggest that you read the whole thing, and check out some of his other essays.

This blogger really thinks that it is very dangerous, perhaps suicidal, to stick your neck out and be a public "prepper," or try to get involved in politics, etc. He did it, obviously, but he has taken steps to remain anonymous.

According to this line of reasoning, when collapse sets in, the government, or even local gangs and bad guys, will seek out preppers to take their stores, or to prevent them from forming any kind of coherent opposition to the fascist-type government that is coming.

Other thinkers, like the wonderfully witty Dmitri Orlov, do not think that there is really any great danger in standing up and blogging, writing, and getting involved in your local community in a political way. There will be dangers and challenges, but it will be caused mainly by human stupidity and the economic and social challenges posed by a collapsing economy and political system. I recommend the following link for a look into Dmitri Orlov's thinking:


But I highly recommend his other essays, and his book, Reinventing Collapse.

So... what is the truth here? Do preppers have much to fear from our increasingly (it's true) Orwellian government, with its thought-police and computerized spying systems? Are we at risk of being targeted?

In a fast collapse, what is the best way to avoid becoming the victims of local gangs or warlords? If the collapse is slow, how do we avoid becoming the victims of government confiscation? Did you know that the government has, in the distant past, outlawed "hoarding," and still has the power to do so?

At the very least, I believe it is prudent to hide the extent of your preparations from neighbors, and all but the most trustworthy friends. If a friend is not a prepper, he should not know about your preps. It's time to start blending in.

But how paranoid should we really be?


  1. as I've said in some of my other posts, I think that it is prudent to hide our preps from looters, and those who refuse to prep themselves, Also not to broadcast to the world exactly what we have or where we've hidden it, but rather recommend to others what they should have. We just wont have enough to feed everyone. But at the same time, we must use our 1st amendment rights to the fullest extent that we can....use it or lose it.

  2. I agree with American Prepper 100%!
    But in the spirit of this network - I think that sharing information with each other is essential! The more information we share - the better "prepped" we will be if SHTF!
    Another great post Publius - please keep it up!


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